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  1. #1
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    Hoo Koo E Koo or Bitter?

    any thoughts at all? i heard about this site and was told that i'd get some good advice but no one responded to my previous post! which Fisher do any of you recommend? you all ride more than i do so u probably have a better idea as to what these bikes can do. i want a bike that i can use on paved roads but will also be able to handle some tough riding on trails--no downhill jumping rocks-- just dirt paths.

  2. #2
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    I have the Fisher Big Sur from '03 before they went to carbon seat/chain stays.
    I like it a lot. It is great on single track and wooded paths.

    For road/paved stuff something without a suspension fork, roadbike even, makes more sense to me.

    The HooKoo is a nice bike.
    I'd have ended up with a Tassajara if I hadn't found the Big Sur at a good price.

    The Bitter is listed as freeride, probably heavier than you want or need for a trail/path bike and the big ring is useful for road use so I'd go HooKoo over the Bitter for your expressed use.

    You also get a better looking paintjob on the HooKoo and slightly better components for what you want to do.

  3. #3
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    so u recommend the HKEK? do you think it can handle minor jumps on paths (about 1 foot)? i know the bitter is designed for tricks and i dont see myself doing anything tricky but i do want something that can handle anything in between. the bike shop had a HKEK i tried out in my size-I'm '6"2-and it felt a bit huge, like a cadillac. its as though it'd be tough to handle on a trail. the bitter was a "15 so i didnt try it. i havent found any pics of the bitter in my size so i dont know how the geometry will be but i get the sense that it can take a pounding, rather have that and not need it than need it and not have it! the trek 6700 and 6500 seems comparible with the HKEK as well maybe i'll try those out.

  4. #4
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    Go with the HKEK, its a better bike imo. THe other I think is more of a freeride/trail bike. You say you will be doing just trails, the HKEK is a good bike for the money.

  5. #5
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    I own a Tass Disc and the HKEK will handle those 1footers no problem. Pretty much anything that a typical XC trail will throw at you it will handle. For 1k it better do the job! LX compnents will treat you right!. I take my Tass through most obstacles with no problems. I might be investing in a bash guard for my bike, Going over logs can be interesting sometimes

  6. #6
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    Yes of the two bikes you are looking at I would go with the Hoo Koo E Koo over the Bitter.
    I was looking at the Tassajara and would have bought it but I wanted to just LOOK at a HooKoo and convince myself I wasn't missing anything. I ended up on a Big Sur because I just happened to find a leftover from the previous year. Otherwise I'd have bought the Tass and been happy. Never did see a Hoo Koo while I was looking to buy.

    I'm 6' 200# and my 19" Big Sur has handled everything you mentioned without any problems. I very much like the slightly stretched cockpit over the Trek bikes. I've even put bar ends on the sucker that let me stretch out a little more. The two bike frames do handle a little differently. The Fisher might not be quite as natural at first but it grows on you.

    One of my buds has a '02 HooKoo. I've got a '03 Big Sur. Two friends have Tassajara's '03 & '04. I don't think ANY of those models from the current year will let you down with what you want to do. Another guy I know has a Marlin and it is a bit heavy by comparison.

    Go ahead and get a model with disk brakes, the only reason I don't have them is I have to swap wheels at the same time.

    Have fun and tell us what you end up with and how you like it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dshighway
    I own a Tass Disc and the HKEK will handle those 1footers no problem. Pretty much anything that a typical XC trail will throw at you it will handle. For 1k it better do the job! LX compnents will treat you right!. I take my Tass through most obstacles with no problems. I might be investing in a bash guard for my bike, Going over logs can be interesting sometimes
    I just put a BlackSpire Big Ring on my Big Sur. Heavy, but now I don't have to worry about tweaking the teeth on logs.

    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/133...-Bashguard.htm

  8. #8
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    For your stated purpose, go with the HKEK. I'm a pretty big guy (6'2" and 210 lbs) and I bought the '06 HKEK (19 in. frame) about 2-3 months ago. I ride paved/light trails 2-3 times a week, but once a week or so, I'll hit the trails hard with regular 1-2 foot jumps and an average of one crash per ride. The bike has held up flawlessly to this point. Granted, I'm pretty good about absorbing landings and shifting my weight, and I maintain the bike pretty religiously, but the HKEK always feels solid.

    It'll also be much faster and lighter on light trails and pavement than the Bitter and also has better components. The HKEK is very fast and climbs surprisingly well, considering it's not the lightest bike out there (I'd guess around 27 pounds).

    The Trek 6700 is the equivalent offering from Trek. The major difference is the frame. With the HKEK (and older Big Sur), you get the ZR9000 frame, which rocks. You don't get the ZR9000 frame with Trek until you step up to the Trek 8000 (and pay an additional $500+). To me, this alone is worth sticking with the Fisher. The HKEK's geometry was a little better for me as well. The standover height of the HKEK is less, AND it has more ground clearance. The cockpit is also a little longer (stretches you out more over the bike), which really helps climbing and speed. The is especially helpful if, like me, you are relatively tall and/or have a long torso.

    You said that the HKEK felt "huge" to you. I'm not sure what size you tried out, but I got the same feeling when I tried the 21 inch frame. I was borderline for both, but decided to go with the 19 inch. I feel much more comfortable on the smaller size in narrow turns and downhill stuff.
    Last edited by TLud; 04-11-2006 at 01:02 PM.

  9. #9
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    so its safe to say that the HKEK has the bitter beat? interesting!!!

    i'll look at the tassajara since its being mentioned as well, whats the price difference? is it worth it for more/less?

    archer: i'm 6"2-160--where does the HKEK/Tass rate against your big sur?

  10. #10
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    hey TLud you got me beat by about 50 pounds so i'm glad your Hkek has spit at everything you've thrown at it. i tried the 19 and if i stick with the hkek that'll definately be the biggest i'll go. i havent owned a bike in 10 years so maybe i'm just not used to it but i felt my body stretch when i rode round the block hence the big feeling. what are ur thoughts on the tassajara?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by flat tire
    so its safe to say that the HKEK has the bitter beat? interesting!!!

    i'll look at the tassajara since its being mentioned as well, whats the price difference? is it worth it for more/less?

    archer: i'm 6"2-160--where does the HKEK/Tass rate against your big sur?
    Go HERE:
    http://www.fisherbikes.com/compare/
    And you can see component by component

    I was looking in 2004 so these numbers are just a little dated

    The Tassajara was/is a VERY decent entry/serious level hardtail (I know one person who races one that is tricked out a little) MSRP then was $620 Disk was about $720

    The Hoo Koo E Koo was one step up in the Fisher hardtail line, slightly better components (LX/Deore vs Deore, simular fork, Slightly better frame) MSRP $835 and they didn't have disk brakes that year!

    The Big Sur was one step up from that XT/Deore/LX/Avid components same frame that year as the HooKoo a step better than my bud's '02. The wrench described it as one step before getting a dedicated race rig. NOW the Big Sur has Carbon Fiber seat and chain stays and IS listed by Fisher as a Race bike. MSRP was something like $1035 or $1295 w/ Hayes disks.

    Currently:
    The MSRP of the Tassajara Disc is 899.99 (Gold Series frame
    The MSRP of the HKEK is 1099.99 (Platinum Series frame LIKE MINE
    The MSRP of the Bir Sur is $1539.99 AC/DC frame

    Basically they have upgraded the HKEK to their top aluminum framed hardtail. The components are better than the HKEK from the year I bought almost as good as the Big Sur and it includes the hydraulic brakes for about the same MSRP the Big Sur ran then.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by flat tire
    hey TLud you got me beat by about 50 pounds so i'm glad your Hkek has spit at everything you've thrown at it. i tried the 19 and if i stick with the hkek that'll definately be the biggest i'll go. i havent owned a bike in 10 years so maybe i'm just not used to it but i felt my body stretch when i rode round the block hence the big feeling. what are ur thoughts on the tassajara?
    Yeah, I'm working my way down the scale. I was into bodybuilding in college, but I've slowly been toning down. Hopefully, it won't be too long before I'm only "beating" you by about 25 lbs.

    The Fishers will stretch you out more than other brands. What is your inseam? If your height comes mostly from your legs, you might want to look at another brand. Regardless, it does take a few rides to get used to the stretched out feeling, especially on downhill stuff. One thing you may want to check is whether you can get down behind the seat while riding. Obviously, downhills will get a little hairy if the bike is too long to do this.

    I tried the Tass. Aside from the frame, the fork, the disc brakes, and the front derailleur on the Tass aren't as good as on the HKEK. The step up from Deore to LX for the front derailleur is pretty big, and I've been surprisingly happy with the RockShox Tora fork on the HKEK (felt much better than the Manitou Axel on the Tass). I believe the stanchions on the Tora are also 32 mm, rather than 30 for the Axel, which will give it added durability. I'll eventually change out the Tora, but there's no rush. It's a solid fork.

  13. #13
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    a "32 is the shortest i can get on the inseam and thats rediculous at times!! my height definiately comes from my legs more so than my torso. i'll try the bike once more and see about positioning myself behind the seat. a 17 seems small for a tall person so i'll give the 19 another try.

  14. #14
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    my bike shop has an HKEK for $1000, any websites that offer awesome deals?

  15. #15
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    Yeah, you might feel more comfortable on a Trek or other brand or you may just need to get used to the new position. My inseam is 34", but I also have monkey arms. I also like to be stretched out on the bike. The 17 in. will be way too small.

    $1000 is what I paid for my HKEK at my LBS. I haven't seen anything much better online.

  16. #16
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    $1000 sounds ok given the MSRP for a current year bike. That's a better percentage discount than most dealers were offering when I was looking. Online isn't usually an option with most brands including Trek/Fisher, Giant and Specialized. Buying online voids your warranty for one thing because the manufacturers have that in the fine print and they sell dealer franchises which means your local dealer probably won't have too much competition for the same brand.

    I'm still running 34s on inseam most of the time but I find as my waist expands the inseam shrinks somewhat some of my 'heavier' clothing runs 32".

    The guy I know on the 19" HKEK is about 6'2"
    Both Tass guys are on 17" one is 6'+/-1" the other is 5'10".
    The guy on the Marlin is riding a 17" which looks funny as he is 6'3" and pretty big to boot.

    Don't worry so much about what you LOOK like worry more about what it FEELS like.

    I thought the 19" was huge when my bud got his HKEK.
    When I went looking the 17" Tass my other bud was driving felt cramped.

    IMO, if you are between sizes, the smaller bike might be slightly better for heavy technical use while the larger bike might be slightly better for faster more open use. That said a lot of it is going to be what feels good to you and what you get used to. Like I said at first meeting I thought the 19 was large but the 17 felt tiny, after riding for a little while I've got bar ends that let me stretch out another 3-4" when I am not likely to need the brakes.

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